Friday, October 17, 2014

Technology and texting culture are making us dumberer...

There’s a problem I think we need to address as a society. For too long it’s been corrupting our news feeds and we’ve politely sat idle. Unfortunately, not all of us are without guilt when it comes to this unfortunate misuse of the English language. The issue that has been plaguing our Facebook and Twitter feeds is unnecessary abbreviations and acronyms. Shame on us for letting it get so out of hand.
Grammar calf and I are on Instagram, follow us! @winesandbovines

This phenomenon began quietly when text messaging became ingrained in our culture. It started small with acronyms like TTYL (talk to you later) and BFF (best friend forever). Today, less than ten years later, this trend has become a widespread epidemic. If you peruse the Facebook machine on your mobile telephone, you’ll find your news feed riddled with letters and symbols that have no meaning. If the keesters of our youth weren’t Gorilla Glued to the couch, I’d assume it was a secret language they were using to take over the world.

There is barely a rhyme or reason to the way the English language works, why are we making it even more difficult? One acronym I keep seeing over and over is “tbh.” Eventually my curiosity got the better of me and I ended up searching the web to determine the meaning. It stands for “to be honest.”  So now you’ve sent me a task – I now have to decode your message in order to unearth the meaning of your post. You are not my college rhetoric professor, so why are you sending me on a mission to search through reference materials? Really, the only acronym you really need in your life is USA.

I already have enough abbreviations and acronyms in my life causing me strain. FICA is one. I don’t know who that money-grubbing bastard is, but he sure likes to take money out of my paycheck.  I don’t understand why we can’t collectively take two more seconds to type a few more letters and ensure our message is received correctly. Those cat videos will still be there, on the internet, even after your thumbs make six more keystrokes. But that’s the problem these days. We take a lot of short cuts, and unfortunately … I know I’m dumber for it. I don’t retain information like I used to, because if I forget it I know Google will help me find it again. Besides, my hard drive (brain) is almost full and I can’t delete the whole host of TV show theme songs in there to make more room. I’ve tried. 

Just because we have technological advances, doesn’t mean we have to rely so heavily on all of them. There are some modern advances that are absolutely incredible. Take for instance the advances we’ve made in the medical field. Cancer treatments that occurred just 20 years ago seem absolutely barbaric compared with the way we treat cancer today. But there are some technological advances that we can live without. For example, I don’t think your life would be much different if you weren't able to play jingle bells in the key of fart noises on your iPhone.

Unfortunately with calf care, there still aren’t many shortcuts you can take. So much still relies on individualized care, and it should. We have found ways to be more efficient and provide better care while reducing labor, but the things you for sure can’t skimp on are 1) Sanitation, 2) Colostrum quality and management  and 3) Management of your sick calves.

One product I’ve really come to appreciate is called Gammulin. It’s a functional protein supplement that aids in maintaining normal immune function in the first couple weeks of a calf’s life. It adds one more step to feeding the calves in the calf barn from days 2-15, but the results I’ve seen makes it worth it.

The biggest difference I see in these calves is they are handling environmental stress much better, and I see fewer digestive issues. This product gives the calves the extra boost they need to succeed and thrive in the calf barn and beyond.

I’ve heard from some of my neighbors who use Gammulin that it’s a product they value. One of my neighbors said he had used it for so long that he forgot how easy calf management had become for him until he ran out for a week.

While there are many new efficiencies in calf care, it will always be one of the most difficult parts of your herd to manage, and require a lot of labor. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of today’s technologies and trends, but I like to focus on technology that provides results, that’s why I like using Gammulin. All it takes is 1-2 ounces a day for the first 15 days.

I agree with Miranda Lambert, it all just seemed so good the way we had it, back before everything became automatic. I’m going to try to unplug more often and truly be in the moment. Maybe I’ll read a few more books. Maybe I’ll try to enjoy the sounds around me rather than constantly being plugged into my iPhone. I challenge you to do the same.